Addiction is a major factor in children being placed in foster care. Many parents struggling with addiction fear that reaching out for treatment will lead to a child welfare investigation, yet living with addiction also puts kids at risk. Stories in this section offer guidance and information on getting clean, repairing relationships with children affected by addiction, and knowing your legal rights in seeking treatment.

My Little Angel – I promised my daughter that I’d beat my crack addiction to mother her. It took a few years, but I did it.

Illustration by Martell Brown/YC

When I got pregnant in January, 1999, my husband told me I needed to stop smoking crack if I wanted this baby. Four months later, I finally stopped.

I’d had four children before Little Mama, and lost them all to foster care. I was determined to do right by my daughter. Before I went to the hospital to give birth, I even changed my last name so that when the hospital … Read More

One Step at a Time – How you can recover from your addiction.

Art by Emily Dinan

In November 1999, ACS sent me to Women Connect, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program affiliated with Lincoln Hospital to deal with my drinking problem. It turned out to be the beginning of a new life for me.

I was blessed with Ms. Angela Torres, my substance abuse counselor. Now I’ve been clean for five years. Last month, I was even hired as a parent advocate at Children’s Village, … Read More

Conflict Resolution

Naomi Weinstein, director of Phoenix House’s center on addiction in the family has been training substance abuse treatment providers to better understand child welfare issues. Here, in her own words, she explains how the training will help parents.

Treatment and child welfare don’t usually get along too well. In treatment, the client is an adult and your sympathies and work are to advocate for the client. In child welfare, the social worker is concerned … Read More

Closer Than Ever – I’m learning how to handle my children without getting high.

A sample story from the Time To Bond workbook

When I was 12, drugs became my way to numb out all the ugly feelings I had inside from being molested and being ignored by my mother, who always put men ahead of her children. Eventually I tried meth and became addicted. Those painful childhood memories, the ones that no one talks about, disappeared with meth.

My addiction escalated when I was about 25 and caring for my … Read More

Making the Best of a Bad Situation – NJ mother wins State Supreme Court ruling on addiction

When you’re addicted and find out you’re pregnant, it can feel like there’s no good way out. If you ask for help, you can wind up being accused of maltreating your baby. But if you don’t ask for help, you aren’t doing all you can to make sure you’re ready for your baby.

In December, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of an opiate-addicted pregnant women called Y.N., who followed … Read More

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